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PEOPLE POWER: Then, Now, Always

What does ‘People Power’ mean to you?  Perhaps it’s the recent marches that have taken place in London, or the growing awareness of the dangers of single-use plastics.  The phrase might conjour up images of the Greenham Common women, the poll tax riots, or even John Lennon and Yoko Ono, long-haired and hippyish in the Amsterdam Hilton.   People Power is all these things – from small victories to global triumphs and everything inbetween.  Heritage Open Days - with its roots in local community and soft activism – has People Power at its heart, and the ability of local communities, groups and individuals to evoke change will be our main focus and theme for 2019.

People Power: Then, Now, Always.  We’ve called it that for a reason.  2019 marks the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo massacre, when British forces attacked a massive pro-democracy rally.  It also marks our 25th anniversary;  two and a half decades of ‘people power’ in its purest form.

As with our Extraordinary Women theme, this is an opportunity to tell the stories of people who have changed and shaped your world.  We want to hear about movements that have been created, friendships forged, communities strengthened and buildings saved.  We want to know about the people who have been instrumental in creating your Heritage Open Days, and the benefits and changes this has brought to your community.

People Power comes in all forms; rebel songs, protest marches, conversations over tea and cake in a church hall.  We want to highlight all of these, and we’ll be providing ideas for how to create events, downloadable resource packs and a sparkling forum to celebrate these stories, with our 25th anniversary festivities.  Keep an eye on our website and social media feeds for regular updates.

Tell us your stories

But first things first.  To make 2019 a true celebration of both HODs and People Power, we need to hear from you!  Email us with your stories, suggestions, personal histories, community triumphs – from saving a building from dereliction, to building links between different faith groups in your town, to creating a community garden.  What battles have you fought and won (or just fought?)  Who deserves to have their story of their battles told?  Send us your story through this form or drop us a line to info@heritageopendays.org.uk, and tell us what form ‘People Power’ has taken in your town, village or region.

This isn’t the last you’ll be hearing from us this year.  This is an incredibly exciting time for Heritage Open Days and 2019 promises to be a truly extraordinary year.  Stay tuned…